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Concussions More Prevalent in Girls Sports

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girls soccer goalieDid you know that when it comes to sports, girls are more likely to suffer concussions and head injuries than boys are? According to a recent study by the Journal of Athletic Training, in sports that both girls and boys play, like soccer and basketball, girls are 1.5 times more likely to suffer head injuries in basketball and 3 times more likely when playing soccer.

What is a concussion? According to Dr. Gwenn of Pediatrics Now:

Head injury can cause external injuries to the scalp or skull as well as internal injuries to the brain such as bruises, bleeding, and concussions. Any internal brain injury can be serious but concussions are the most common and can be the least obvious. A concussion occurs when the brain is shaken causing a temporary disruption in how the different nerves talk to each other, similar to a power surge at home. Symptoms vary and often include seeing stars, being dazed, blurred vision, nausea and occasionally amnesia. With more serious concussions, headache, vomiting, balance problems and changing levels of consciousness may occur. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to have a concussion without loosing consciousness and even minor head injury can cause concussions.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently discussed this study at his blog and wonders if girls are less protected physiologically than boys (who have bigger heads and tend to have stronger neck muscles) or whether they just report it more often?

Either way, head injuries are not to be taken lightly and in the case of an athlete hitting her head during training or competition, it is always best to err on the side of caution and seek medical treatment immediately.

Here are some additional articles on concussions in girls sports:


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Jump, Flip, and Run for Stronger Bones

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vaultingGymnastics does a body good! A report at Scientific American states that gymnasts have higher bone density and muscle density than their peers who participate in low-impact sports or no sports at all.

According to the report, the impact of jumping, tumbling, and running on the body actually helps stimulate bone growth. By getting involved in impact sports before puberty, athletes are actually preventing osteoporosis later in life.

Some of the sports that strengthen bones include:

  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • Basketball
  • Martial Arts
  • Field Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • And other sports that involve jumping and quick direction changes

Non impact sports such as swimming and biking are still considered healthy, but need to include some additional impact type conditioning for maximum benefits.

Image: Flickr


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The Girl’s Got Game

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Tonight we went to watch a parks and recreation league girls basketball game. Two of my daughter’s friends were playing – one on each team – so we were cheering for both teams. I have never been to a youth basketball game and it was a learning experience.

It was apparent to me that there were a handful of girls on each team that clearly took the lead while others tended to hang back. Some of the girls were aggressive in going after the ball and it was funny to watch some of them hug the ball and sit down with it to keep the other team from getting the ball.

The referee took the time to educate the girls as to the reason certain whistles were blown and he even came over to the bleachers to thank the parents for displaying good sportsmanship during the game – I’ve never seen that before.

At the end of the game everyone had rosy cheeks and shared high-fives. A good evening was had by all – even my daughter who just wanted to go down on the court and do cartwheels!

Categories : Basketball
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